Five Truths About Personal Growth


I am extremely passionate about personal growth simply because it is one of the few things that never fails. However, if we pay no attention to it or turn our noses up at it, we risk paying a hefty price. Personal growth is the only credible way to grow our lives. It is the singular most important bridge that carries us from where we are to where we want to be with integrity. Our allotment in life is always in direct proportion to our investment in personal development. We are all self-made and there is no magic anywhere. When we take the time to develop our minds and ourselves, we reap the rewards. If we decide we already know all that we need to know, we remain stuck - it's really quite simple. Ralph Waldo Emerson, an American essayist, philosopher, and poet was quoted saying: "The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be." Growth is always a decision. It is always intentional.

Here are five home truths regarding personal development:

1. Personal Growth is Our Responsibility

Any aspiration to grow comes with a great deal of personal responsibility. No one can do it for us. Even if we have supervisors or mentors who encourage us and support us, the active steps to develop are solely ours and ours alone. After all, we are the only ones who knows exactly what success means to us. Our lives are totally ours to live in whatever way we deem fit so if we want to grow, we must accept responsibility. American motivational speaker, Les Brown said it well with this quote: "Accept responsibility for your life. Know it is you who will get you where you want to go, no one else."

2. Personal Growth Requires Commitment

It is not enough to have a hunger for growth, we have to come on the journey with a high-level of commitment too. Just as it's our job to create a plan, it is our duty to stick to the plan. Others may speak to the plan, advice and coach us on the plan, but our feet must do the walking. We must commit to the plan and do something every single day to work the plan. Alli Worthington, best selling author, speaker and business coach put it this way: "Only the people who take their learning, growth and skills development into their own hands will be tomorrow's leaders." Knowing you only get what you are truly committed to, what are you willing to commit to in order to grow?

3. Personal Growth Requires Discipline

It is our habits that make us - those things we choose to invest in daily. Our habits will write our future story. If we want to unlock the doors to success, our habits are the key. We may talk a good game, but it is our results that speak the loudest. If we want to grow and develop personally and professionally, we have to start taking a hard look at our habits. English poet, literary critic, translator and playwright John Dryden was coined saying, "We first make our habits, and then our habits make us." If you take a look at where you are right now, are there new habits you need to form, habits you need to discipline yourself to stick to?

4. Personal Growth Sets Us Apart

John Maxwell, an American author, speaker and pastor said it succinctly with this quote: "Growth is the great separator between those who succeed and those who do not. When I see a person beginning to separate themselves from the pack, it's almost always due to personal growth." When we continually invest time and effort into developing ourselves, we will stand out. People will begin to notice and seek us out. Personal growth is the greatest contraster between those who are prepared and those who are not. It is important to be "dressed" for where we are intending to go and not where we are at. This way when opportunity rears its head, we are not scrambling trying to figure things out. In reality, opportunities are never lost. They are simply given to those who are ready.

5. Personal Growth Isn't About Money

I agree with American entrepreneur and author, Jim Rohn when he says "Income seldom exceeds personal development." However, while personal growth may lead to financial increase, money should be viewed as a by-product and never the motivation. Gratifying growth must always be aligned with purpose and passion because this is the only route to fulfillment. In the words of Trappist monk, writer and theologian, Thomas Merton: "People may spend their whole lives climbing the ladder of success only to find, once they reach the top, that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall." We can avoid this great misfortune if we line up our growth and quest for success with what drives us and what gives our lives true meaning. Real growth is always about purpose. Nothing more, nothing less. Do you know what you are here for? Can you start to grow in a way that moves you closer to it?

Personal growth cannot be wished for or manufactured. It cannot be handed down to us based on our connections or buddy systems. We must be prepared to work hard for it. If we are honest, every single moment of our lives, we are either moving forward or falling behind. There is no standing still. Life is always about growing, stretching and moving closer to our goals and life's purpose and we can either go through life making excuses for our lack of progress or we can actively participate in our own growth and development. We can choose to keep blaming others or be determined to do the work required to change our results. One thing is certain, unless we take steps to change how we are and what we do, we'll always have what we've always had.  

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